Stripped of any clues as to what’s before you it heightens your senses to the tastes & flavours experienced on drinking the liquid.
Presented before me were 6 samples. I duly poured them into 6 identical Túath glasses & proceeded to savour the contents.
For some reason I thought this was a rum tasting – & quickly revised this theory as No 1‘despite having a bit of a sour nose the lack of body on the palate & high ABV kick signalled to me a poitín! Can’t say it did much for me. Nice experience – but not an approachable spirit’.
There was no No 2 so No 3‘proved intriguing. The pale yellow colour, soft fruity nose, easy palate with slight hints of burnt notes on the rear drew me in. I could drink this one again!’.
With No 4 ‘I experienced a slightly musty nose, indicative of long ageing, perfectly fine palate yet lacked a bit of body & very dry on the rear. Rather nonplussed by this one’.
No 5‘had a sherry like influence, smooth & silky on the palate with a nice touch of dryness on the rear. Could be a low ppm peater? Not quite enough to excite me if it is’.
No 6‘initially blew me away! Suggestive of high ABV. On a 2nd tasting it still didn’t entice me’.
No 7 ‘kinda hooked me, if only for a more pronounced smoky influence. Elegant yet challenging all at the same time’.
So that was it! My initial thoughts are in italics.
Samples 3 & 7 stood out for me in this selection.
So what were they?
3 – Dunville’s 1808, Blended Irish Whiskey, 40%
What can I say? A very pleasant easy drinker with enough depth of character to keep me coming back for more.
7 – Smögen 100 Proof, 6 Year Old, Swedish Single Malt, 57.1%
A heavy peater finished in oloroso casks at a challenging high ABV. Think I’d have enjoyed this one more at 46% without the oloroso finish myself.
And the others?
1 – Black’s Single Pot New Make, 63.5%
4 – Jamesons Black Barrel Proof, Blend, 50%
5 – High Coast, Dálvve Sherry Influence, Swedish Single Malt, 48%
A light peater with 50/50 bourbon/sherry influence. A bit of a let down from the original high peater Box Dálvve I enjoyed at Gothenberg Airport here.
Given that Smögen is a bit of a unicorn bottle – hard to get hold of, pricey & limited edition – as are some of the other bottles – I think Dunville’s 1808 performed extremely well on my palate.
I took away a few themes from this tasting. High ABV can blow away the flavours for me & make for a challenging drinking experience. Sherry cask influence isn’t my style of choice & when it comes to enjoyable, affordable drinking – you can’t beat a good blend!
What would your palate have chosen?
Many thanks to fellow Whiskey Blogger S for the blind samples & bottle photo.
A delightful blend of Jamaican, Guyanaian & Barbadian rums modelled on the Royal Navy rum tot proved to be a highly entertaining tipple!
My last few samples were from a selection of independent bottlers who mainly do non chill filtered, natural colour & often single cask, cask strength bottles in limited – not to be repeated – releases from a variety of distilleries.
At Carn Mor I enjoyed a 7yo peated bottling distilled at Highland Park named Whitlaw.
For Scotch Malt Whisky Society -SMWS – I shunned their limited edition single malts & opted for the attractively designed label of Peat Faerie blended malt for yet another sweet peater with a kick.
The Single Cask Staoisha 6yo distilled at Bunnahabhain offered a combination of soft peat & sweet wine cask influence.
Sadly they had no peated bottles on show – so I chose by artwork. Chapter 11 happened to be a Glen Spey & whilst very nice – didn’t wow as much as the art did!
And with that – it was all over!
A generous feed of chips ‘n’ cheese, a packed train of fellow whisky fans back to Kirkcaldy & a short walk to the hotel ended yet another wonderful foray exploring the fine whisky on show at the highly enjoyable Fife Whisky Festival 2022.